Last weekend for the second year in a row I participated in the 11th annual “Shoot The Hills” photography contest. I had a great time and would highly recommend the contest for those of you living in Ohio and surrounding states. The contest is a lot of fun, staffed by friendly people, and well organized. At the very least, it’s a great reason to go out and photograph in a beautiful place with a lot of fellow photographers! This year the contest reached a significant milestone, it exceeded 200 registered photographers! “Shoot The Hills” is the official fundraiser of the Friends of the Hocking Hills State Park located in Hocking County in southeastern Ohio. All proceeds are used to build and maintain photo-friendly wildlife blinds and habitats within the park. These special areas include nesting boxes and feeding stations for local and migrating waterfowl and wildlife, a gazebo-style hut on Rose Lake, and a butterfly habitat and garden.
The contest is open to pros and amateurs alike, but digital entries must be captured within a specified 24-hour period (noon Friday to noon Saturday) and have been made within the four-county coverage area (Athens, Fairfield, Hocking and Vinton counties) of the Hocking Hills Region. There are 2 major divisions, digital point-and-shoot, and digital SLR with 5 judged categories in each division; Abstract, Flora, Human Interest, Landscape, and Wildlife. There is also a Photographer’s Choice category as well as a Print Contest.
Weather for the Friday half of the contest was beautiful with partly sunny skies and temperatures in the 70’s, but unfortunately the weather was not nearly as nice on Saturday with rain and much cooler temperatures. Rain gear for photographers and their equipment was a necessity!
Over the course of the 24-hour shooting period I captured about 170 images, most of which I was pleased with. My best images were captured just after sunset around Lake Hope in Vinton County and on Saturday morning in the rain at Rose Lake and Old Man’s Cave Gorge. Unfortunately I did not come away a winner in any of the categories, but I had a lot of fun! All the photos submitted were great, and judging a contest like this would be a tough job! I’m definitely going back next year and hope to capture a winning photo!
To find out more about “Shoot The Hills,” visit their official website here.